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UK Parliament approves trial for MPs to vote by proxy

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By Rachael Kennedy
UK Parliament approves trial for MPs to vote by proxy
Copyright  Twitter/Tulip Siddiq

British MPs on parental leave will now be able to cast their votes via a proxy after the House of Commons approved a year-long trial on Monday.

The trial, which came into immediate effect, will be used first by Labour's Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq for Tuesday's vote on amendments to Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal.

Previously, parliament did not allow proxy votes for ill or incapacitated MPs.

This rule led to a heavily pregnant Siddiq earlier this month being forced to delay her caesarian-section in order to be allowed to vote on May's initial withdrawal agreement.

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She was wheeled into the House of Commons in a wheelchair to cast her vote, which enraged her fellow MPs, and forefronted the discussion of proxy voting.

Following news from the House of Commons of its approval to immediately begin a year-long trial of proxy voting, Siddiq posted a note of thanks to Twitter on behalf of herself and her new son, Raphael.

"I believe I will be the first MP to vote by proxy tomorrow," she wrote. "Raphael and I are so grateful that I can represent my constituents in these important votes."

Siddiq confirmed she had nominated Labour MP for Deptford Vicky Foxcroft to serve as her proxy in Tuesday's crucial vote.